If you could only have one (Canon) lens ...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ChrisBrightwell, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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  2. localghost macrumors regular

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    Nov 17, 2002
    #2
    35 1.4

    I like primes + this focal length (should be fine on 1,6 crop and heaven on FF).
    If it’s half as sharp as the reviews say it’s sharp enough for me - and I’m a big fan of shallow dof.

    This as well as the 135 2.0 seem to have a magical look (colors, contrast, bokeh) that’s hard to explain – have a look at pbase.
    I keep saving, almost there.
     
  3. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #3
    If I could have only one Canon lens, it would be...




    a Leica.


    But seriously, for a lens within a reasonable budget, I think I might get the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f2.8 XR or, for a little more, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. If I was truly restricted to always using one lens, either of those would serve me pretty well.
     
  4. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #4
    I think most of us would prefer primes in terms of image, but can you survive with just one prime lens?
     
  5. localghost macrumors regular

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    #5
    Actually I did for years (35mm film + 50mm lens).

    Even now I only use primes (although two of them - 35 2.0 + 85 1.8 on 1,6 crop and old film body). I do plan to get a (24-105) zoom, but it’s not in top of my list. Most of the time I get by very well with only my 35 2.0, but it’s a little tight on the crop camera, and I want more dof and better high iso. So FF + better 35mm lens will come next.

    BTW I know most people get primes for the superior resolution, but not me: I have made very decent prints from half of my 8MP frame – so that’s my zoom, if walking takes too long. What I do really care about is light, and from everything I have seen, this lens captures it in the most beautiful way (not mine but have a look here here to see what I mean).
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #6
    It's a totally awesome lens. I love mine. But I'm not sure I could live with it as my only lens.

    That said it makes more sense (apart from price) than the 50 1.4 (which is also super) as you can always crop...
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #7
    Not that I've ever used one, but the 17-55 f/2.8 IS came to mind. That said, considering I mostly like taking picures of people, until I got my most recent lens (Sigma 24-70 f/2.8) I used my 50mm f/1.8 80-90% of the time. If I had a bigger budget, I could see using something like the 35mm f/1.4 most of the time, although it doesn't exactly sound like an ideal portrait length.
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #8
    600mm f/4 IS. (you pay for the lens, I'll pay for the tripod!)
     
  9. canonwire macrumors member

    canonwire

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    #9
    Without a doubt, my rock, 17-55 IS f/2.8

    A great lens...tack sharp and the IS adds 3 stops for me...it is terrific. This thing stays mounted on my digital rebel like george bush stays mounted on the pant leg of evildoers! :p
     
  10. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

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    #10
    Interesting question with no good answer for me. It depends on the camera body. I just got the Canon 24-70 2.8 to use on my 5D. That is a nice combination. I love my Canon 70-200 on the 1D series. So with that set up I can shoot two lenses two bodies and be covered on most general news assignments. But for just one lens I might try something in the 24-105 range?
     
  11. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    If you can only have one lens and flexibility isnt important, there are only three choices:
    - 35 f1.4
    - 200 f1.8
    - 85 f1.2

    The 85 f1.2 is the best lens you can get anyone saying the contrary has never tried it. Very few people have tried it compared to other lens because it is too long on 1.6 crops and cost wayyyy too much compared to its f1.8 relative. But the difference is stelar. It is like the first time you replace the kit lens with a 50 1.8...

    The 200 is also incredible and will get you press passes were ever you go, but you will never be able to do candid with it.

    If you want more flexibility and have less cash, go for the 24-105ISF4. It is the best money/quality you can get for that range. Then, its the 70-200ISf4. After that, you are going into the realms of supertelephoto, but the 28-300 is known to be the best safari lens one can get and the 400 5.6 the best birding lens (when you have to walk...).

    If you dont have much money, the 100mm Macro is a very good deal too but being stuff at 160mm is a bit long.

    Anyways, get your credit card and buy a 85 1.2 ;-)
     
  12. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    24-105 on a full frame camera and the 17-55 on a cropper.
     
  13. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I like the test results of the new Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro DF, compared to the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f2.8 XR and pricier Canon 17-55 IS f/2.8.
     
  14. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #14
    At the moment I'm still very much in love with the 85mm prime on my 350D.
    Have to admit that the only other lens I have is a 17-40. Thinking of
    something longer (70-200, or some prime).
    The 85 is perfect for lots of situations (almost a 135mm on a 1.6 crop).
     
  15. hsotnicaM macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2007
    #15
    A 10mm-1200mm 1.8 zoom. :) Do they make those?
    I have a 75-300 USM that does me fine. Would live to have an extra wide, though.
     
  16. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #16
    this comes close: [​IMG]
     
  17. hsotnicaM macrumors regular

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    #17
    ^^^
    OK seriously what is that? A rocket launcher or a lens?
     
  18. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #18
    The 14kg Sigma super-BIGMA 200-500 f/2.8

    And it takes 200 mm ammo as well....
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #19
    It'd be the 400mm f/2.8, because that's the lens I shoot the most with my Nikon gear and changing systems wouldn't change what I shoot. Without any tests yet of the newest Sigma, the 400/2.8 is the fastest long prime from the major manufacturers and that gives me more shooting options at the ends of the day when the light's sweet and the subjects are out and about.
     
  20. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #20
    The 24-70 f/2.8L, hands down. It's the perfect range for my event shooting and also has excellent build and IQ.
     
  21. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #21
    I would take a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS, an excellent telephoto lens for general-purpose usage.
     
  22. CPPhoto macrumors member

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  23. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #23
    Man, tough question.

    Every time I shoot, the 85 f/1.2, the 35 f/1.4, and the 70-200 f/2.8 IS come with me - without fail. I have other lenses, but these are my cash factories.

    If I could keep only one, I guess it would be the 85 f/1.2. I love the focal length with a full frame sensor, and no other current lens (besides the 50) can do 1.2. And I'm addicted to f/1.2.
     
  24. bozigle macrumors regular

    #24
    Well i guess it depends of your favorite subject
    I'm into macro and rarely use something else than the Sigma APO MACRO 150mm F2.8 EX DG HSM
     
  25. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #25
    That is a lovely lens, but very expensive too.
     

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